Festive flames peak in call-outs for fire service


Release date: 10 December 2019

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging residents to be more careful during the festive period after attending 34 house fires in December 2018.

The peak in fires was up 39% from the previous month.

The main reasons for the fires were cooking, faulty electrical equipment and negligent use of appliances.

Nicki Peddle, Head of Prevention at the fire service, said: “Christmas can be a very busy time with more distractions when it comes to cooking or using electrical goods.  We’re urging residents to take some time to read through our tips and keep themselves, their loved ones and homes safe.”

Tips include:

  • Deck the halls with lights that conform to the British Standard. Be mindful not to overload plug sockets as this could start a fire.
  • Mistletoe and wine is to be saved for afters! The risk of a fire in the kitchen increase after alcohol is consumed.
  • Tis the season to check your smoke alarm regularly!
  • Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight. Have your chimney swept and checked. It might get you back on the nice list and prevent a chimney fire.
  • May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmas trees and furnishings be kept away from candles. Never leave candles burning unattended.
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to check on your elderly relatives or neighbours, are they fire safe?
  • It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store. Beware of counterfeit electrical items as they could cause a fire.
  • All I want for Christmas is you…to get home safely. Don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

For more fire safety information visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire and select our ‘keeping safe’ page.

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